Look out for these skin issues during pregnancy

pregnancy skin care

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By Dr Yash Mehta

The miracle of life brings with it a number of facial skin and hair changes. Whatever happens just know that new motherhood looks gorgeous on you.

There is increased activity of the material adrenal, pituitary glands and developing foetal endocrine glands, increased cortisone levels. Accelerated metabolism and enhanced production of progesterone and estrogenic hormone are responsible for most skin changes in pregnancy.

Glowing skin

Blood flow varies during pregnancy including in the tiny vessels beneath the surface of your skin. The pregnancy hormone causes the glands to release oil, which may leave your face shiny and glowing.

Hyperpigmentation

Melanogenesis is a process which occurs during pregnancy. There is an increased release of estrogen and progesterone, which are both strong melanogenic stimulants causing hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation while on oral contraceptive pills may be predictive of women who will develop hyperpigmentation during pregnancy.

Melasma

Termed as chloasma or mask of pregnancy, melasma is a symmetric blotchy tan to dark hyperpigmentation of the face that occurs during pregnancy. It can occur in malar, mandibular, centrofacial pattern; the entire face can be affected. The causes are a combination of sun exposure, genetics, cosmetics and increase level estrogen and progesterone hormone.

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Hirsutism

This is the appearance of facial hair during pregnancy. This is due to increased testosterone production, which most often disappear in postpartum.

Spider Angiomata

Spider angiomata are web-like structures of capillary seen under the skin. They most often appear in the skin of neck, face and arms and legs. They tend to increase in size and number until delivery and fade away in the postpartum period.

Mollusuim Fibrocum Travidacum

They appear and resemble skin tags and over sides of the face and neck. They are related due to endocrinological changes during pregnancy. They may have to be removed surgically.

Breakouts

The increased progesterone levels also trigger more sebum production causing breakouts. During early pregnancy, some women develop acne especially those who are more prone to breakouts during menstrual periods.

Hair

There is a spurt in hair growth, thickness and it appears more shiny during pregnancy.

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Telogen Effluvium: There is a spurt in hair growth, thickness and it appears more shiny during pregnancy. About 80 per cent of the hair on the scalp is in anagen (active phase) but during pregnancy the number of hair converting from anagen to telogen (resting phase) decreases, resulting in increased percentage of hair in the active phase.

Postpartrum: There is rapid transition from Anagen to Telogen resulting increase percentage of hair in the telogen phase. When the hair in telogen shed the results in moderate to serve hair loss. The shedding of hair begins 1- 5 months after delivery and may continue for up to 1 - 2 years before re-growth occurs. In rare cases, some women may develop male pattern baldness due to late pregnancy.

(The writer is Principal Surgeon and Founder of Aesthetic & Cosmetic Surgery Clinic - ACSC).